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  Dhangars are Kshatriyas. Kshatriyas have three major castes (or ethnic groups) -- the Dhangars, the Rajputs and the Marathas. The Rajputs are Indo-Scythians and mainly had their kingdoms in North India. The Rajputs did not originate as a tribe or a single community. They emerge from history as a collection of clans ruling different regions. The term Rajput as it is used today refers to the set of intermarrying royal clans. The Marathas are Indo-Aryans and had an empire which spread all over central and North India. The Dhangars are Proto-Asians, who had their Kingdoms in South India and Central India. Rajputs have 36 Clans, Marathas have 96 Clans and Dhangars have 108 clans out of which 92 are found/known so far in India. Originally these castes were one and had mutual interactions of dining together and intermarriage amongst them.

The widespread Palaeolithic mtDNA haplogroups and analysis of Y-DNA Haplogroup in Dhangar clans highlight their Proto-Asian genetic ancestries. Dhangar heterogeneity is ascribable to predominantly South-Asian males and West-Eurasian females. Dhangar have a significant Pleistocene gene pool, corroborating their “Proto-Asian” origin .

Dhangars are believed to be Indo-Aryans as the Aryans were shepherds. Dhangar follow many rituals which were followed by Aryans. Aryans used to pierce the ears of their children, and Dhangars too pierce the ears of their children. Out of the 36 Queens of Kshayapa the 28th Queen, Sundara, was a Dhangar. Out of the Original 36 Rishis Tap Rishi and Manimahant were Dhangar.

The word Gotra is dereived from the word "Go" meaning Cow. In ancient times wealth used to be measured by the number of cows. The cows of one Kula used to be kept together which was termed Gotra this was later termed as Kula Gotra. Marriage in the Kula of one's own Pravara is prohibited. Ethoven has listed 108 such exogamous groups of Dhangars. However Gautama Sutra has given two remedies for such marriages i.e. "Sutrakali chandrayan, Kruch Prayaschit".

Allama Prabhu, President of Lingayat Temple at the time of allowing saint Rewad in the temple stated

"Kuruba Hutavamunna Kulavilla Gotra Villam, Kuruban fal kani Basawanna." meaning "Before the Dhangars there were no gotras, gotras came with Dhangars, Basawanna, we are the decendants of Dhangars".

This shows that many Lingayats were Dhangars previously.

Enthoven in his observations has listed 22 Endogamous groups (Sub-Castes) and 108 Exogamous groups (Clans) of Dhangars (Enthoven 1920:311). It should be recorded that the list of the 22 Endogamous groups and 108 Exogamous groups of Dhangars, as provided by Enthoven, is not exhaustive.

The number 108 is very sacred and has a great significance.

The List of Dhangar clans in India is of surnames of all sub-castes from India

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